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The Atlanta Falcons Must Extend Mike Smith's Contract

Mike Smith is deserving of an extension. That's my premise and I'm sticking to it.

The man affectionately known as Smitty isn't likely to make it through the off-season without the Falcons ponying up for additional years, which shows how much value he has for the team and how much the team in turn values him. It takes on an air of urgency not because Smitty's contract is up—he's got one more season left on his current deal—but because if he made it to the coaching version of free agency, he'd be an immensely popular option.

His record as a coach speaks for itself: 33-15 in three seasons, known as a guy who will defend his players to the death and squeeze the talent out of them, and a guy who despite his furious sideline expressions has been the calm captain of a team that climbed out of the NFL doldrums in less time than it takes you to read this post.

Fortunately, there are reports that the Falcons are working toward an extension. I wasn't clear in the first version of this story, but I have no doubts that the team is going to get this done, in the same way they ponied up to keep Roddy White around. I just wanted to make it absolutely clear from the fan perspective that this has to happen.

As John Fox taught us, the fortunes of a head coach can change swiftly, whether through their flaws becoming magnified, a loss of player talent or some combination of the two. But I think it's fair to say that Smith has shown himself to be capable of guiding the Falcons to winning seasons for years to come. There are other priorities on the roster side of things, but this team wouldn't be the same without Mike Smith.

Get it done, please!